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In many parts of the world, eggs can be purchased by the piece from farmers or street vendors. But at most supermarkets, they're sold in cartons made of pulp paper, polystyrene foam or single-use plastic. Given the popularity of eggs, all those cartons add up to mountains of waste.
In Germany, food retailer Kaufland is tossing single-use packaging for a reusable option. Customers can buy a plastic carton for EUR 1.99 and fill it with up to ten organic eggs. At checkout, they're charged per egg. Kaufland is launching the reuse system in 280 of its 670 stores.
Consumers are waking up to the negative impacts of their grab-and-go mindsets, and brands are increasingly responding with sustainable alternatives.
Eggs are — to scramble a metaphor — low-hanging fruit for food retailers that want to reduce packaging. Unlike steaks or chicken wings, they're by nature neatly and individually wrapped in shells that keep out dirt and moisture. All they need is something to gather and protect them on their way from farms to stores to kitchens.
Equally important, bringing a refillable carton when doing groceries is a relatively easy habit for people to adopt, much like reusable shopping bags. Each of those habits adds up and accustoms people to exerting a bit of effort to reach a low-waste future. And raises expectations for brands to keep doing better ;-)
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